Principles of Purpose: Be Yourself
Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.
|Preface||Introduction||Trusting Your Gut||Use Good Judgement|
|Listen||Regulate Emotions||Set Boundaries||Be Mindful|
|Practice Moderation||Manage Expectations||Resolve Conflict||Plan Ahead|
|Have Patience||Be Yourself|
“Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”Henry David Thoreau
Who hasn’t been told to just “Be Yourself” at least once in their lifetime? What does that mean exactly? Certainly there are situations in life that it would not be appropriate to be yourself. I mean your true self. The one you truly ought to be. The person you are most comfortable being.
That is not to suggest that you be disingenuous. I mean it more to suggest being yourself with reservations. For example, at work. You can be yourself to the degree that you fit into the milieu. You certainly don’t want to unleash the hounds and be yourself completely. No.
You can, however, be yourself to the degree that you do not compromise who you are essentially. Who you are without compromising your morals, scruples, beliefs. You certainly would not reveal the deepest and darkest secrets about yourself in the form of self-disclosure at work as you would, say, around your intimate family and friends.
What Does It Mean To Be Yourself?
Well it’s who you are at the core. What you believe in. Without labels. Without peer pressure or familial prejudice. It’s how you dress. How you conduct yourself without fear or apprehension. You can be your authentic self in most circumstances though. Just how brave do you want to be?
There is inherent value in being able to live authentically and express oneself, and such self-actualization can make our lives feel truly worth living. As the late philosopher Lawrence Becker proclaimed, “autonomous human lives have a dignity that is immeasurable, incommensurable, infinite, beyond price.”
In order to live a meaningful life, then, make sure you are in touch with yourself—that you are living a life endorsed by yourself, not a life aiming at pleasing others. If you don’t follow your own values and dreams, you are most probably following values set by others—in the worst case the shallow, materialistic values promoted by mass culture and advertisements.
And there is nothing more disappointing in life than living someone else’s dream. As some wisecracker has put it, it is better to be yourself, as everyone else is already taken.
How To Be Yourself
Rather than drivel on about the myriad ways you can be yourself, I decided to compile a list from various sources on the internet. The following list are what I think represent the best ways to be yourself. So, go out and be the best you that you can be!
|don’t aim to please others||learn more about yourself|
|don’t worry about how others view you||appreciate who you are|
|be confident with who you are||forgive yourself|
|stop being negative about yourself||find a hobby you love|
|learn from your mistakes||strive for what you want to accomplish|
|become more aware of your inner thoughts||follow your intuition|
|identify your strengths and weaknesses||don’t compare yourself to others|
|don’t succumb to peer pressure||surround yourself with positive people|
|don’t judge yourself||don’t be too hard on yourself|
|treat yourself as your own best friend||develop and express your individuality|
|advocate for yourself||follow your own sense of style|
|admit when you are wrong||stand up for others|
|accept who you are||love yourself|
|express yourself in a variety of ways||show your vulnerability|
|be self-aware||don’t worry about what other people think|
|build a foundation of self-knowledge||identify your beliefs|
|stick to your morals||speak your truth|
|be respectful of yourself||forgive yourself|
|never be what others think you should be||be comfortable in your own skin|
|take risks||trust in who you are|
|open your mind||open your heart|
|free your spirit||live courageously|
|accept yourself||practice gratitude|
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